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Breaking the Maya Code [Paperback]

Michael D. Coe
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: £14.95
Price: £11.96 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

19 Dec 2011
The Third Edition of this classic account of the inside story of one of the major intellectual breakthroughs of our time - the last great decipherment of an ancient script revised and brought right up to date with the latest developments. 113 illustrations bring to life the people and texts that have enabled us to read the Maya script. The original edition, which sold over 40,000 copies in English, was hailed as a masterpiece that transcends the boundaries between academic and popular writing. Coes thrilling account of the cracking of Mayan is like a detective story great stuff - The Observer Told with great vigour by Professor Michael Coe, who was himself involved; he offers an insiders story with strong views of the personalities, competence and abilities of some colleagues - History Today An entertaining, enlightening and even humorous history of the great searchers after the meaning that lies in the Maya inscriptions - Anthony Burgess

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Breaking the Maya Code + The Maya (Ancient Peoples and Places)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 3 edition (19 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780500289556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500289556
  • ASIN: 0500289557
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.7 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 327,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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`A thrilling story of academic rivalry, bigotry, chewing gum and - wait for it - penis perforation'
--The Daily Mail

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought for husband. He says it is comprehensive but very detailed and it is difficult to sort things out, de-coding not explained as well as it could be. Was recommended by a friend who has a very mathematical mind.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Michael Coe gives a rivetting account on the decipherment of Maya glyphs through the ages. Illustrated with examples, this book is a must for all interested in the Maya.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After visiting recently Guatemala and many of their ancient Maya sites, my young guide at Tikal recommended me this book, along with several others, as a way of helping my increasing curiosity about the Maya civilization. The book is written in an excellent "detective" stile, which page after page delivers a suspense atmosphere and reveals step by step, the investigators involved in the amazing decipherment of the Maya glyphs, their biographies without excluding humorous details and observations.
Being a renamed academic, Dr. Coe has the talent of turning a complex scientific subject accessible to a common reader.
This is one of those rare books one has difficulty to interrupt once start reading it. A great book!
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Breaking the Maya Code is a book well worth recommending to everyone interested in the Maya history and culture. It provides not only the history of reading the Maya writing but also gives a vivid description of the people involved and problems they encountered in the process. I was fascinated with the number of people from very different scientific backgrounds and different countries who contributed to the great breakthrough in understanding the Maya society. The book begins with a very well written introduction on linguistics - concise (just a few pages) but very helpful to readers who, like myself, know very little on the subject. All the steps on the way to decipherment are illustrated with drawings of Maya glyphs which gives invaluable help in following the thread of the story. Although the issues involved in reading the Maya script are complex and required an interdisciplinary approach, in writing the book the author managed to balance very well between scientific information and a very readable story of one great discovery and people involved.

I strongly recommend this book; it is thanks to authors like Coe that such great, complex scientific achievements can reach people who are not professionals in the field. I thoroughly enjoyed every page of the book..
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting book 9 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Really great book explaining how the stelae and glyphs in Copan and Quirigua were and are being studied. Mysteries and amazing discoveries about the old Maya civilisation keep on coming up and we discover part of these thru this book. Very interesting!
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